After the University’s Board of Regents accepted a report detailing the benefits and drawbacks of in-state tuition equality for undocumented students, the University’s Coalition for Tuition Equality will host an event Thursday featuring a prominent immigration reform activist.

Erika Andiola, an Arizona-based activist for undocumented rights, will speak about her experience as an activist on the federal level. Andiola is one of many national activists for immigration rights with whom the coalition works.

CTE — a group involving 31 student organizations — has been fighting for the cause for over a year. Public Policy senior Kevin Mersol-Barg, founder of CTE, said Andiola will motivate University students to fight for the cause.

“She will really inspire students and campus community members to really respond to this call to action that her story shows,” Mersol-Barg said. “There’s so much that we can do when we work with others in the community to address a wrong.”

When Andiola’s mother and brother were deported from the United States, she began her fight for immigrants’ rights by connecting with a broader network of activists. Her efforts stopped the deportation of her family as well as other undocumented immigrants.

Andiola’s work focuses on law enacted in 12 states — modeled after the failed federal DREAM Act — that allows public institutions to grant aid to undocumented students. As the leader of the Arizona DREAM Coalition, Andiola has challenged three senators and has lobbied for immigration rights in Washington D.C.

Mersol-Barg said he hopes Andiola’s speech will inspire students to work for immigration rights at the University level. He added that the event will serve as a precursor to the CTE’s planned protest at the University’s Board of Regents meeting next Thursday, which will be similar to its protest last December.

“We will be demonstrating our strong support for tuition equality and for this community for students who are being really discriminated against for the University’s policies,” Mersol-Barg said. “We’re going to really hit home this idea that it’s unacceptable for the University to stand idly by.”

Upon receiving the report produced by the organization, the administration created a task force to review it, which didn’t include members from the coalition. Mersol-Barg said while the University has been “relatively mum” since the release of the report, protesting at the regents meeting has been the coalition’s most effective action.

“Although we are somewhat disappointed that we will not participate in the executive community, we will not let that stay between us and lobbying the University to draft tuition equality,” Mersol-Barg said.

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